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Luxembourg : EUR 7 billion EIB backing for communications, renewable energy and innovation
Publish Date : 20-Nov-2019

- EUR 1.3 billion to improve internet and mobile telecommunication services
- EUR 1.7 billion for business and corporate innovation investment
- EUR 1.5 billion for renewable energy and energy transition

The Board of the European Investment Bank (EIB) yesterday agreed to support EUR 6.9 billion of new financing. This includes backing new investment across Europe and around the world to improve communications, renewable energy, sustainable transport, social housing and education infrastructure.

The new EIB financing includes EUR 1.7 billion of new support for corporate research and development, and business investment through direct financing and credit lines with local banks.

The meeting also approved a new Energy Lending Policy to further strengthen the impact of EIB support for energy transition and a new strategy to deliver on the EIBs ambition to increase climate action and environmental sustainability over the next decade.

Improving communications for millions of people across Europe

The EIB approved more than EUR 1.3 billion new financing to enhance mobile and broadband communications for millions of people in France, Italy and Hungary.

New projects backed by the EIB include the roll out of ultra high-speed fibre to more than 5.8 million households across France and upgrading the Italian mobile phone network to enable access to high-speed mobile services by 99% of the population.

Accelerating energy transition and scaling up renewable energy

The EIB agreed EUR 1.5 billion of new financing to support renewable energy and energy efficiency projects around the world.

This includes support for new wind farms in Austria and Lebanon, 15 new solar power plants across Spain, as well as small-scale climate action and renewable energy projects in France, Kazakhstan, the South Caucasus, Latin America and Africa.

New energy network investment to expand electric vehicle charging in Estonia, provision of smart meters in Ireland and more efficient street lighting across Italy were also approved by the EIB board.

Fostering innovation and private enterprise

At the November meeting the EIB approved EUR 1.6 billion of new direct and indirect financing for corporate innovation and private sector business investment.

This includes lending programmes to finance innovation investment with leading local banks in Germany and Italy, support for private equity investment in Spain and Slovakia and schemes to enhance access to finance by local SMEs in Austria and Georgia.

Four new schemes to provide local and foreign currency business financing will help to overcome currency related investment barriers in Belarus, Ukraine and Africa.

Transforming sustainable urban transport

2.3 million people living in the Indian city of Bhopal and commuters across France will benefit from new sustainable transport investment agreed by the EIB.

This will support construction of the first two metro lines in Bhopal and provision of 330 electric buses and charging infrastructure to replace diesel buses with zero emission transport in towns across France.

Strengthening agricultural production

Agriculture and bio-industry investment across Europe will be supported by a new EUR 700 million financing scheme approved by the EIB board. This follows the successful implementation of a pilot agriculture financing programme over the last year.

The EIB also agreed new financing to support renewal of agricultural machinery in Spain, agri-food investment in Morocco and upgrading grain storage and transport in Ukraine.

Improving access to social housing and quality education

Households across France and Ireland will benefit from construction of 80,000 new social housing units to be financed by the EIB in France and new support for energy efficient affordable housing in Ireland.

The EIB also agreed to finance construction of 150 new primary schools in Tunisia and upgrading 37 schools, kindergarten and sports centres in Finland.

Enabling sustainable development in vulnerable countries

Projects across the Caribbean that contribute to sustainable development goals will be supported by a new streamlined financing programme approved by the EIB. The Board also approved a new scheme to support projects in Colombia in areas most impacted by recent conflict.

In Brazil 140,000 households will be connected to clean drinking water for the first time and 300,000 homes benefit from wastewater services under a regional water investment programme backed by the EIB

EUR 2.2 billion of investment backed by the Investment Plan for Europe

The European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the financial pillar of the Juncker plan will support EUR 2.2 billion of new investment for projects approved by the EIB board.

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